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First and Last – Archie (comic strip)

Archie Andrews first appeared 80 years ago in a couple comic books dated December 1941.   promo from Top Notch Comics #22 and first Archie page from Pep Comics #22 The feature was an instant hit and before the next year was over Archie had his own comic magazine. But it would take five years […]

Posted on: Mar 4, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

The Complete Superwoman – A First and Last Rarity

This will be an amalgamation of a few subsets we have here: a First and Last entry, a Rarities post, and a Complete collection. On June 27, 1943 The New York Tribune syndicate distributed the first episode of Superwoman by already famed cartoonist Rea Irvin. The Sunday-only strip appeared in at least two newspapers – […]

Posted on: Feb 24, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Legal, Comments: 2 Comments

Cheap Thrills Cuisine: Chef Peppi’s First and Last

It’s Wednesday, the day set aside for Chef Peppi’s Cheap Thrills Cuisine – but no more. The last recipe on GoComics was January 27, 2021 (above); the contract was not renewed. If you are reading this soon after being posted the last couple entries are still up at the GoComics newspapers’ feeds (see The Oregonian) […]

Posted on: Feb 10, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 4 Comments

First and Last – Smokey the Bear

Smokey Bear, the anthropomorphic symbol of the United States Forest Service, was created during World War Two. Not long after that conflict ended Smokey was appearing in one column panel cartoons as public service announcements illustrated by Harry Rossoll. These advisories would run at least into the 1970s. For a few years during that run […]

Posted on: Jan 10, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Smokey the Bear

First and Last – Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

Most comics historians, in writing about Jackie Ormes, note her Torchy Brown comic strip for which she is justly famous. But Ormes’ biographer Nancy Goldstein notes that  “it is Patty-Jo that the readers of the Courier whom I talked to seem to remember most vividly.” Goldstein continues: That a girl child expressed wisdom, exposed folly, […]

Posted on: Sep 1, 2020,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

First and Last – The Fantastical Tales of Norb

When Berke Breathed’s Bloom County ended on August 6, 1989 King Features Syndicate had an unconventional comic strip to offer newspapers to replace the popular feature. Norb (I can find no example of “The Fantastical Tales of…” being used on anything but the promotional material) by Daniel Pinkwater and Tony Auth debuted on Monday August […]

Posted on: Jul 13, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

First and Last – Homer, The Reluctant Soul

Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur has introduced a number of characters to the comics reading public. The Pyle family and associates are regulars, but there is also Obviousman, Ordinary Basil, The Bears, The Gravesytes, Congress-Man, and others. We’re going to take a look at Homer, the Reluctant Soul. Homer first appeared in a Non Sequitur Sunday […]

Posted on: May 22, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Homer, The Reluctant Soul

First and Last – Rick O’Shay, Latigo

The western strip Rick O’Shay by Stan Lynde began in 1958. It first appeared on April 27, 1958 (below), taking over the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate spot occupied by Ferd Johnson’s Texas Slim Sunday strip which ended the week before; both being humorous cowboy strips. Ferd Johnson, who had been ghosting for Frank Willard’s […]

Posted on: May 3, 2020,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Rick O’Shay, Latigo

First and Last – Joe Palooka

palooka (n.) by 1926, “mediocre prizefighter,” of unknown origin, credited to U.S. sportswriter and “Variety” staffer Jack “Con” Conway (1898-1928), who might at least have popularized it. Non-boxing sense of “average person” is from Joe Palooka, hero of Ham Fisher’s boxing-themed comic strip, which debuted in 1930. No Ham Fisher didn’t coin the term with […]

Posted on: Apr 21, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Joe Palooka

Cats With Hands – A First and Last Installment

Wha..?? A last Cats With Hands? Yes. It seems Joe Martin has stopped producing new Cats With Hands strips and panels. (Joe continues creating Mr. Boffo and Willy ‘n Ethel comics.) Last month Neatly Chiseled Features started issuing “The Best of Cats With Hands” dailies beginning March 16, 2020. That strip was a rerun of […]

Posted on: Apr 16, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

First and Last – Hippy And Pop, and Miss Caroline

There have been some short-run syndicated comic strips; mostly holiday themed (Christmas, Easter) or news related (Mrs. Simpson, The Crime of the Century). Those were planned as closed-end mini-series. Hippy and Pop by Pete Murphey was not planned for a short run, but it became one of the shortest run syndicated comic strips in modern […]

Posted on: Mar 7, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 6 Comments

First and Last – James Thurber & The New Yorker

James Thurber‘s first drawings appeared in the The New Yorker dated ninety years ago today. In the New Yorker issue dated February 22, 1930 a short James Thurber contribution included two illustrations, the first Thurber drawings to appear in the magazine. [James Thurber’s words first appeared in the February 26, 1927 New Yorker, but since […]

Posted on: Feb 22, 2020,  Section: Anniversaries, Books, Cartoonist's Cartoonists, Comic history, Comic strips, Illustration, Magazine cartoons, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – James Thurber & The New Yorker

First and Last – Peanuts

Twenty years ago was a very sad weekend for comics fans. Already dismayed with the news that the Peanuts comic strip was ending, the day of February 12, 2000 became unbearable when news broke that cartoonist Charles Schulz had died. The very next day came the announced end of Peanuts, a planned end and so […]

Posted on: Feb 12, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Peanuts

First and Last – The Girls in Apartment 3-G

Career women was not a new concept in 1961, but those shown on the comic pages were rather old-fashioned. Nick Dallis, creator of Rex Morgan and Judge Parker, decided to update the concept for a modern audience – within reason. Three independent, liberated women in the big city, who would not pass The Bechdel Test. […]

Posted on: Feb 9, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

First and Last – Friday Foster and Torchy Brown

January 18, 1970, fifty years ago today, heralded the debut of the first “mainstream” comic strip starring an African American heroine: Friday Foster by Jim Lawrence and Jorge Longaron. above: the January 18, 1970 Friday Foster debut strip (hat tip to Doc Vassallo) The strip would run four years never getting a large number of […]

Posted on: Jan 18, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 3 Comments